cover image Passion Play

Passion Play

Beth Bernobich, Tor, $24.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2217-3

Bernobich lays the groundwork for a trilogy, but leaves all her plot threads untied in this fantasy debut with a Renaissance Europe feel. The flower of a wealthy mercantile family, 16-year-old Therez Zhalina hates living at home, suffering as her father and grandmother fight, her mother cringes before her father's rages, and her brother withdraws. When she discovers that her father has picked out a cruel and power-hungry man to be her husband, she panics and runs away. Her trials during her flight are perhaps the most realistic in this coming-of-age tale packed with magic and politics. Therez, now called Ilse, quickly outgrows her naïveté and finds her salvation when she meets Raul Kosenmark, an exiled prince trying to save the world that rejected him. Just as she gets embroiled in Raul's intrigues and secrets and the story starts going somewhere, the book ends. Readers will be frustrated—and impatient for a sequel. (Oct.)